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Mother-love—everywhere and always

From the August 3, 2015 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Recently I’ve been so grateful for my mom—for her love, her care, and her faithfulness to her children. And that’s a wonderful feeling. Although she passed on many years ago, it’s clear to me that neither of us has ever been separated from God, divine Love—regardless of time, space, or apparent human conditions. This is true for everyone. I’m so grateful to know that!

Mothers, fathers, and others who demonstrate parenting qualities have a love for children that extends far beyond circumstances or the details of a day. That care doesn’t change or diminish because children go to preschool or to college. It doesn’t go away because they marry or move to New York or New Delhi. The way a mother’s love toward her child is expressed may change, but it is forever constant because of its purity and unselfishness. 

This care and tenderness run deeper than any mistakes we make as human parents—and we may make quite a few! The more spiritual in nature we understand our role as parents to be, the less anxious we are about how well we’re doing, and the more we learn to love as we are loved by God—beyond the confines of mere human affection. 

Mary Baker Eddy writes a good deal about the true spiritual nature of motherhood and its essential importance in nurturing individual lives. She brings a higher understanding of what is possible when we understand God, good, to be all there is, the All-in-all of our being and the source of all that is real. 

There are no walls of material belief that Love does not dissolve, no obstructions Love cannot remove.

In this passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she speaks about the continuity of true parental love: “A mother’s affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal. Therefore maternal affection lives on under whatever difficulties” (p. 60). 

Because all good is from God, good exists forever, for everyone. It knows nothing about the mortal claims of separation. There are no walls of material belief that Love does not dissolve, no obstructions Love cannot remove. 

The spiritual love we learn to express is not simply ongoing, but unlimited in its scope and effect. This knowledge helps us recognize that we can express love everywhere and always and forever. We don’t pull it in and restrict it—we broaden our expression of it and understand that it is truly born of God. 

My mom proved this in her own experience. As she loved us, she also loved others. This love was there for family, neighbors, friends, and for those for whom she prayed. When we deepen our understanding of our relationship to our Father-Mother, we begin to experience less pull of personality, which would attempt to hinder progress or limit our ability to demonstrate love, and to cherish our wholeness in that family that is all God’s.

We don’t own love. We share it and we live it, but it’s not personally possessed. Because there is one true source of good, we don’t own anyone and others don’t own us. Instead, we learn through Christian Science that each precious idea of God is already one with his or her true Parent—able, complete, whole, and dearly valued. Each child and parent is part of the fabric of a beautiful tapestry of good, each one essential and all equal.

We don’t lose our place or purpose when children grow up, or if a family member passes on. We take what we’re continually learning about Life as God, good, with its care and affection, boundless generosity and grace, and share that with others. 

The power and effect of understanding the ever-presence of divine Love can never be underestimated. Recognizing that God as Father-Mother is inseparable from His creation, we know that we are all safe and cared for. 

When we begin to understand God’s mothering care, we see evidence of it. We see children being embraced by those who naturally express and live God’s love. We see healing of estranged relationships in families. We see forgiveness where there appeared to be no room for it. We see wrongs righted, respect and honesty restored. 

Humanitarian efforts often reflect something of that divine care when they are motivated by compassion and discernment, which help remove apparent obstacles to good. Right now, healing is taking place in cities and nations that need to feel the protection and provision that only God, good, can provide. 

When we hear claims that there is no God, right there comes the assurance that there is God because there is Love! We see evidence of Love’s presence in the intangible qualities of grace, kindness, and generosity. Those Christlike qualities are present, eternal, infinite. 

Recognizing that we are each the expression of God, we live as Christ Jesus taught us. We learn to love without limits and without fear. And as we love, we are loved. No one, then, need ever feel unloved, or unworthy of love, or unable to love. 

Today I see that I am the recipient of that unselfish good my mom expressed. I am not claiming that the human experience was perfect, but I know Love was being demonstrated, and was caring for and healing us all. 

I reached out to God and asked, “Father, please give me something real to understand about all this.” The thought came gently, “It was all about Love.”

The mother-love that expresses God’s love is not limited to one individual. As we look for opportunities to “mother” others, we will find a deepening ability and desire to express patience, compassion, tenderness, insight, perception, intelligence, forgiveness—the qualities that are required to heal and care for one another. We can express and cherish those qualities as we pray for children, brothers and sisters, people in other countries, people in prisons—knowing that divine Love is, in truth, right where it needs to be to bring healing.                   

Students of Christian Science rely on the truth of Mrs. Eddy’s statement when she assures us, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (Science and Health, p. 494). It has, it does, and it will!

When my sister and I had finished all that was required in settling our mom’s estate, I was sitting alone in front of the home where we had grown up, for the last time, before I drove away. My car was packed with some final items to take with me. The sun was setting, and it was very peaceful. I reached out to God and asked, “Father, please give me something real to understand about all this.” The thought came gently, “It was all about Love.”

Grateful for that message, I reached down to a box of cassette tapes on the floor of my car, randomly pulled one out, and put it in my car’s tape player. Mom enjoyed reading articles into a cassette tape so she could listen as she drove to patients’ homes as a Christian Science practitioner. I heard her voice on the tape reading a few lines inspired by our Leader’s writings: “If I appeared to have died, I have not died. I have but passed the portals of a new belief” (see Science and Health, pp. 164 and 251). That was all that was on that tape. 

I played it again, feeling so sure it was provision for all of us. I knew it was the truth that blessed beyond the borders of my little world. I felt the inseparability of Love. I knew my mom was safe, and I knew we were, as well.

That was God’s gift to me, mothering me, assuring me that Love was all that was going on, everywhere in every place. There is no separation from God, good, ever. That has stayed with me for all these years, allowing me to love, hopefully, in some degree, as I am loved by God.

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